Architecture is a fascinating line of industry that is rife with creative opportunity. Throughout history we have seen countless innovative designs from all over the world, from historical architecture of the past to the downright bizarre, the realm of building design is certainly a multi-faceted one. However, it’s not all about looks when it comes to architecture, at least not in the modern era. Nowadays, architecture schools teach building design comes with additional responsibility: sustainability. Over the last few years there’s been a noticeable rise in environmental awareness and a shift in focus that encourages people to live greener lives, and this has extended into the buildings they use. Let’s take a look at some of the world’s most sustainable buildings and see how they measure up.
The Change Initiative
Located in Dubai, TCI is officially the most sustainable commercial building in the world to date. The building itself is a shop that provides sustainable solutions, so we certainly know that it practices what it preaches. While most of the materials used to create TCI is recyclable (including the water they use), the roof is equipped with solar panels and heat-reflective paint which provides 40% of the building’s energy, and the outer structure has three times the insulation of your average building. The building’s logo is a clever play on the ‘on switch,’ reinforcing the circuitous nature of sustainable living.
Pixel was the most sustainable commercial building in the world before TCI knocked it from the top spot, so it’s certainly worthy of note. Built in Australia, it was the first building to ever be granted a perfect Green Star score and set precedence for sustainable architecture in the country. Pixel itself is a small office building that makes use of several innovations for sustainability, including a sun shade system that lets natural light into the office whilst reducing glare and heat. The building even generates its own electricity through the use of wind turbines. It’s also fair to say that the design is pretty striking; certainly one to be remembered.
The Z6 House in California is all about innovative and convenient sustainable design. In fact, the name itself is based on the philosophy of achieving zero levels across key areas: waste, energy, carbon emissions, water and ignorance. Essentially, the Z6 house is a combination of every sustainable method of construction, and the result is not only a zero waste home, but a stylish looking one too. The building makes heavy use of solar power and this is responsible for around 70% of its energy use. Through other luxuries such as solar powered water heaters and heated floorboards, the Z6 house makes the best of natural resources.
This list barely begins to scratch the service of sustainable architecture and construction, but it does tell us that it’s not just a fad. By making use of some creative thinking, innovative ideas and software provided by companies such as Oasys, buildings such as this are paving the way for green construction and symbolise great changes to come.